Category Archives: Culture by Tzolkin

13-Serpent/Kan: Winter’s Terror (29 May 2018)

Born 13-Kan: Heath Ledger, Sylvester Stallone, Jodie Foster, Mark Wahlberg, George W. Bush (43rd US president), Osama bin Laden, Ted Koppel

Winter's Terror

“I cannot believe in God when there is no scientific evidence for the existence of a supreme being and creator.” – Jodie Foster (13-Kan) As quoted in Calgary Sun (2007), and sounding a lot like Dr. Eleanor Arroway

The United States declared independence on the Tzolkin date 9-Ben (1-Kan trecena). So, today these two related sun-signs (Serpent and Reed) meet again, but in reverse.

Generally speaking, people born on day 13 are other-worldly in many ways. They are either full-on present, or altogether absent and ether-vapor like. This resonates and is consistent with how the Maya regard the number 13, being the last number of the trecena period. Any last number of a cycle is considered to be zero as well as the actual number (13, or the 20th ‘seating’ day in the Ha’ab calendar). This way, the last day of one period, is the fruit of that period, and at the same time – carries the seed of the next period.

So how does this affect the sun-sign Serpent? 13-Serpent types, like Sly Stalone and George Bush Jr., have learned the lessons of the Serpent, and are less prone to the unbalanced aspect of the archetype, like say 4-Serpents and 9-Serpents are. When doing readings to 13’s, I’ve noticed that the sun-sign traits are familiar to them, but at the same time they know how to put their gifts to work in their lives. Their innate connection to the other-worldly often beckons them to listen to divination, like a Tzolkin calendar reading.

What resonates most with 13’s in their readings has to do with the number 13 being both fruit and seed, as described above. When 13’s hear that, to them, each achieved mountaintop is an accomplishment, while at the same time – an opportunity to get the first glimpse of the next mountaintop – they find this insight helpful.

What a gift it is to have such fine individuals among us…

Dead Kennedys

To find that Bush and Bin-Laden shared the same Tzolkin birthday (13-Serpent, today) really got my attention a few years ago. Bush is the 8th US president to have his birthday on this trecena. I wonder if this record will be beaten. His father, BTW, Bush senior, was born the very next day in the Tzolkin – 1-Cimi. In other words – close, but no cigar.

The sun-sign Aj seems to have a lot in common with the United States. Heck, even Obama was born on 9-Ben! Our current commander in chief, Mr. Trump, was born 4-Ak’abal, which has little to do with the Serpent (Kan), but is the sun-sign opposite to Aj. So, in some ways, he’s something other than the archetypes around the United States.

… and what’s this hang-up I have with presidents and politicians, anyway? Time to get off the authority trip. Time for a change.

So the last day of the Tzolkin Fall is 13-Kan, which is a divine flavor of fluidity, with an unreal scent for drama – directly contrasting our point of origin (1-Aj, the unitary steel pipe).

Tomorrow, 1-Kame, is the beginning of the Tzolking winter; the second quarter of the round begins.

… and Moses remained on mount Nebo, and watched his flock cross the Jordan into the promised land.

8-Ajpu: Infinite Light (24 May 2018)

Born 8-Ajpu: Alan Dershowitz, Warren Beatty, Toni Collette, Vincent van Gogh, Douglas Adams, Norah Jones, Idan Ofer

Infinite Light

“If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don’t.” – Douglas Adams (8-Ahau) from Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987)

Destiny.

A word with much gravity and a touch of romanticism. Is there really a destination that I can single out and abbreviate as being my destiny? The thing with destinations is that once you arrive at one of them you get a view good enough to recognize the next one. So how can there be a destiny in the sense of an ultimate destination, some life-long goal that can be actually realized and materialized? And if there is one, in what way do I continue living without destiny beyond its acheivment?

There can’t be such a thing as a future destiny, unless I define death itself as a destiny, followed by nothing. Instead of looking to the future in search of it, I think destiny is everything that has already happened, along with whatever’s transpiring now. So in other words destiny is made up of my karmic accumulation of the past, over which I have no control, and the now moment, for which I have total responsibility.

Today, the 8th day of the 1-Aj trecena, is where the current 20-day uinal period comes to a conclusion, on an Ajpu day, according to most western followers of the calendar. Being the concluding nawal, Ajpu embodies completion and perfection, and fittingly, some of the meanings associated with Ajpu are: master, lord, hero, flower, ancestor.

When they’re busy pursuing their destiny, people born on Ajpu days display near-magical abilities and heroic skills. They expect much of themselves, and their community does, too. Some Ajpu types embody their heroic nature, and create new realities regardless of expectations and disappointment. Other Ajpu’s have it way over their heads. They foresee themselves letting everyone down, failing to meet expectations, not to mention exceeding them (as they are used to do). So they tend to indulge in some sort of old escapism habit of their’s; robbing the world the gift only they themselves can produce and give away gladly.

… and 8-Ajpu says: “perfection cannot be realized tomorrow, nor remembered as past glory. It abides now and always, beckoning me to discover it.”

OUR CONCEPT OF TIME

When does a new child begin life’s journey? Is it at the moment of birth? of conception? Is it after puberty? or a couple of days after his/her parents first met?

When viewing time as a linear progression of units, it becomes terribly important to agree on a suitable answer to the above query. So most people will say that the moment of birth is the beginning, and the government bureau-cats will have a piece of flimsy reality with which to fill out their forms in hospitals, and file them next to the morgue expiry forms.

To counter the linear perception of time, Ken Johnson stresses that according to the Mayan concept of time there’s no exact moment (for example, 00:00) when one day nawal is replaced by the following one. When the sun sets the nawal of the following day already begins to assert its energy, while the nawal that governed the current day wanes.

So like everything else in nature, days and nights have their unique, flowing dance of energies, which intensifies whenever they mix and switch governance (of day and night/winter and summer). Spring, after all, is known as “The Quickening”, and fall is exactly what it means – a slowing down, a time to stop and take stock, gather gravity in preparation for winter – the standstill.

There are no clear cuts in the natural world. Clear cuts can only be found in the human world of words and dotted lines. They are arbitrarily set by my dualistic, calculating mind (one of my favorite tools!)

According to the Mayan concept of time, when the child is born other members of the family are born with him/her. This means that the mother and father (roles) are born with the child, along with sisters, brothers, grandparents, etc. This is most obvious with the first child (there were no parents before it came), but is also true about any other child joining earth.

At the time of birth something also dies. When a couple gets married the bachelors die, and when the pet is adopted the loner dies.

1-Aj: Leadership and the family (17 May 2018)

1-Aj: Can we fix it?

This trecena’s theme is the mysterious sun-sign known as Ben in Yucatec and Aj in K’iche Maya, Central America. “Mysterious” should be taken with a caveat. When I refer to “mysterious”, I mean to us left-hemisphere dwellers. I’m sure the complete sense of “Aj” is crystal clear in Momostenango; maybe not immediately upon touchdown, but certainly after a week or two there.

Aj (or “Cornstalk”) is not as readily accessible to everyone as animal sun-signs, such as the serpent or eagle. I can relate to the essence of Balam by thinking of any kind of cat I know, or Tzi by picturing canines, but how can I relate to a cornstalk? For that matter, how can a human relate to the Night (Aq’abal), or to Death (Kame)? Flora is alien to (western) human experience. So I had to get some anchors.

I found three keywords which helped me put together a possible meaning. They are: Leadership, Family, and Destiny.

Carlos Barrios adds “authority, the home, do everything as we like… creating possibilities… Aj is our internal altar”, among many other depictions.

Leaders in many fields were born under the Aj archetype. No fewer than 8 US presidents were born on this trecena. Adding the leaders that were born on Aj days (like 5-Aj, 7-Aj, etc.) we get 2 more US presidents, 2 Israeli PMs, a French PM, a Syrian PM, a Queen Mother, the godfather of an elite banking family, and Julian Assange.

The Leadership of Aj

Born 1-Aj: Stephen Baxter, Brian O’Leary, Sean Bean, John Rhys-Davies, Richard E. Byrd, Michael Moore, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leadership and the Family

1-Ben: The Stone of Destiny

The Aj archetype embodies leadership, since it is the sun-sign that follows The Road (E’/Eb), in the sense that after the Road is mapped a leader must walk in front of the community.

Leadership, also, since this archetype is also known as the Staff or Reed, which is a universal sign of authority (much like the Olympian torch, and Roman fasces). It is the tool in the hands of the guide, the vanguard, the trailblazer, and the elder. It is the staff of Moses, which can turn into a serpent (13-Kan, coming up in 12 days) when the need arises.

According to the Mayan nawal Aj, a good leader has a knack for bridging differences between separated individuals. He listens to one, then the other, then speaks in the language of bridge-makers.

People born on Aj days create new opportunities by giving sound advice to all sides; with words and intention, that can run goosebumps up and down spines. Regretfully, nowadays I seldom experience this when encountering those who call themselves my leaders. Mostly I experience PR tricks and appearances, distractions and infantile guilt-flinging. Why is that?

One cannot intend to elicit goosebumps in another. Leaders that elicit goosebumps do so through a heart connection. They feel deeply about where they are going, speaking openly and passionately about it, so people naturally relate and opt to follow.

They follow the direction and the idea, and are empowered and inspired by the person in front.

A lot of what happens around (either good or bad) leadership – how it is received, the reactions it prompts, and the actions that grow out of it – is unintentional. A good leader addresses her people and tells them about what’s eminently ahead, how to prepare, how to go about doing it, and what’s further, over the horizon. She shares a vision. In between her lines, in the way she communicates, and in the genuine cadence of her voice – many other invisible processes are set in motion within the gathered individuals. Each process unique, and each outcome – different and complementing the other, in a dance of growth and evolution.

A bad leader does the same, and the same happens, but to the detriment of her society. The extent to which she and her words are “together”, “all apiece” – i.e., her integrity determines the fruits of her leadership and the destiny of the community she leads. When integrity is weak, the led sense it instantly. This is a part of what comes across unintentionally, in the background.

Current political leaders (of the sordid, corrupt sort we all like to ridiculously picture) tend to lose their “togetherness” quite early in their careers, and quickly fail to lead by example. Their mission becomes “do what I say, not what I do”.

Moreover, they intend to elicit goosebumps, with poll-tested soundbites and tried-and-true emotional triggers, which is like trying to lift yourself up by your bootstraps.

You can’t.